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Arts > Photographers > 20th, 21st century > CAN > Larry Towell




“My wife, Ann, and I had been digging during the day,

transplanting lilies from the front of this abandoned farmhouse

back down the road to where we live.


We finished. She was tired and laid in the grass. I took a picture.

The house is now gone. The walnut trees have been bulldozed and burned.


I saw this picture the other day for the first time in years and realized

how photographing life within a hundred yards of my front porch

had helped me focus on everything I cared about.”


Larry Towell/Magnum Photos


Magnum Chooses the Decisive, and Transforming, Photo

By Rena Silverman        Lens        NYT        Jun. 8, 2015















Larry Towell


Larry Towell's business card

reads 'Human Being'.


Experience as a poet

and a folk musician

has done much to shape

his personal style.


The son of a car repairman,

Towell grew up

in a large family in rural Ontario.


During studies in visual arts

at Toronto's York University,

he was given a camera and taught

how to process black and white film.


A stint of volunteer work

in Calcutta in 1976

provoked Towell

to photograph and write.


Back in Canada,

he taught folk music

to support himself and his family.


In 1984 he became

a freelance photographer and writer

focusing on the dispossessed, exile

and peasant rebellion.


He completed projects

on the Nicaraguan Contra war,

on the relatives

of the disappeared in Guatemala,

and on American Vietnam War veterans

who had returned to Vietnam

to rebuild the country.


His first published magazine essay,

'Paradise Lost',

exposed the ecological consequences

of the catastrophic Exxon Valdez oil spill

in Alaska's Prince William Sound.


He became a Magnum nominee in 1988,

and a full member in 1993.

















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